Motorists in Western New York should understand the serious risks of a multi-vehicle collision, and the ways in which these accidents can quickly result in life-threatening and fatal injuries. While some multi-car crashes occur as high-speed pileups on highways, multi-vehicle wrecks can also happen when cars are traveling at relatively low speeds in areas highly trafficked by vehicles and pedestrians alike. According to a recent article in Syracuse.com, the Syracuse Police Department is investigating an eight-car collision that occurred in downtown Syracuse during the morning commute earlier this month.
Our experienced Syracuse car accident attorneys want to tell you more about this recent collision and to discuss the lessons that drivers may be able to learn from this deadly crash.
Getting the Facts About the Multi-Car Collision
The recent multi-vehicle crash in Syracuse occurred during the morning commute at approximately 7:49 a.m. According to a follow-up report from Syracuse.com, the eight-car collision occurred as a 49-year-old driver, Sean Joyce, was stopped at a red light at the intersection of West Fayette Street and West Street. While Joy was stopped at the light, “another car crashed into several vehicles,” according to a spokesperson for the Syracuse Police Department.
The driver who appears to be largely responsible for the collision was driving a Nissan Altima. That Altima driver was speeding eastbound on West Fayette Street and collided with “multiple vehicles stopped at the red light,” the police reported. Several vehicle occupants were rushed to nearby hospitals, and Joyce died of his injuries at the hospital.
Can You File a Claim for a Multi-Car Accident?
Can any of the parties involved in this multi-car collision file lawsuits against one or more of the other drivers involved in the accident? First, New York Insurance Law § 5104 requires an injured person to prove that they have a “serious injury” according to the statute in order to be eligible to file a lawsuit. The definition of a serious injury includes many different types of harm, and injury victims can work with a New York car accident lawyer to determine their eligibility.
Yet even if a person does meet the serious injury threshold, in a collision like the one that occurred recently in Syracuse, the matter of comparative fault ultimately could reduce the ability for one or more of the injury victims to recover damages. While the investigation into this crash is still ongoing, multi-vehicle collisions often involve negligence on the part of more than one motorist. For example, pileup accidents are often possible only because the drivers did not leave sufficient distance between themselves and the vehicle in front, or because one or more drivers failed to follow traffic laws or regulations. New York does follow a “pure comparative negligence” rule, which means that a motorist in this crash could be eligible to recover damages as long as she was not 100 percent at fault, but the damages award could be reduced significantly by her own portion of negligence.
Contact Our Syracuse Car Accident Lawyers
The recent multi-car collision in Syracuse is just one example of a multi-vehicle accident in Western New York. These crashes occur much more often than they should, and more than one party ultimately may be liable for injuries that occur in these types of collisions. It is critical to stay aware of your surroundings and to follow traffic rules. If another motorist’s negligence causes a serious accident, you should seek advice from a Syracuse auto accident lawyer as soon as possible about filing a claim for financial compensation. Contact King Law today for assistance.